Pueblo a Pueblo, Inc.

Our mission is to improving the health, education and food security of families in Indigenous and rural communities in Latin America. We seek to strengthen vulnerable families by serving women and children, with an emphasis on Indigenous peoples in the Lake Atitlan region of Guatemala and other rural, coffee-growing communities in Latin America through integrated, school-based health & education programs. Pueblo a Pueblo was founded on the belief that meaningful and sustainable change requires the commitment and active involvement of the individual, community or organization that will benefit from that change. Pueblo a Pueblo strives to deepen values such as personal responsibility, se...
Sep 13, 2012

When a stove makes someone smile

The mothers of the Maternal Child Health Program were all very excited when we announced that another generous donor had raised money to install more ONIL stoves. After Chonita, our outreach worker, selected four women with the greatest need, we met with Cameron and his team from Cojolya so that he could chat with the moms about the stoves, how they work, why they are beneficial and how to properly maintain them. Using pictures, but more importantly firsthand knowledge (he and his wife have used the same ONIL stove for the past 10 years), Cameron and his wife Isabel were able to answer the mothers’ questions and dispel misinformation about the stoves. By the end of the meeting, the moms were so excited that they asked Cameron to install them right away.

Having never seen an installation, I was intrigued to see how it would all work.  What stood out to me was the ease of installing the stoves. Cameron has been installing them for over 5 years, but even still, they are relatively straight forward as long as you ensure the first step-making the ground level-is done correctly. After that come the 11 cinder blocks, provided by the mothers, the individual pieces that make up the stove, the firebox being lined with sand and ash, and finally the stove top and the chimney. The mothers are walked through each step, in particular key parts of the stoves that need maintenance, and then they watch as Isabel lights a fire and the stove heats up quickly.

I asked the women what they thought about the stoves and they all beamed and told me how happy it makes them to have a stove that will cut down on their exposure to smoke while also burning much less firewood. When I followed up to ask what the first thing they would cook would be, two answered right off “Tortillas!” while the others answered rice and coffee. One of them started before we had even left their house!
Thanks again to all our supporters for allowing us to ensure the mothers and children of our programs can have a healthier future!

Sep 11, 2012

Getting ready for Global Handwashing Day

Just a couple weeks ago, the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Project held the third teacher training of the year with teachers at Tzanchaj Elementary School. Although we are several weeks away from Global Handwashing Day (October 15), Pueblo a Pueblo is busy getting teachers and students ready to have a fun-filled week of activities related to hand washing with soap. According to the organizers of Global Handwashing Day, only 0-34% of the population around the world uses soap when washing their hands even though handwashing with soap is the most cost-effective intervention for reducing illnesses due to diarrhea.  Because of this, Pueblo a Pueblo’s WASH Project is focusing heavily on increasing the use of soap in the schools it partners with. 

During the workshop, teachers came up with ideas for fun activities to engage students related to handwashing with soap. Pueblo a Pueblo’s staff also gave them a few ideas, including using glitter to represent germs and then having students wash their hands until all the glitter is removed. Watch this video of teachers practicing a game from the Global Handwashing Day website called “Get Bubbly.”

As covered in the teacher training, behavior change does not arrive simply by providing knowledge. Children also need to change their attitudes and be provided with the means to enact new behaviors. For this reason, the WASH Project also provides schools with support for increasing access to water and improving bathrooms. At Tzanchaj Elementary we recently installed a new handwashing station, built at the right height for the youngest children so that they can easily wash their hands. Now, thanks to support from our donors, over 190 students at Tzanchaj will be able to wash their hands.
Stay tuned for more fun activities as we get closer to Global Handwashing Day.

Sep 11, 2012

All that you would miss

Friday was International Literacy Day.  At our School Library Project we celebrated this day with an special  afternoon activity for elementary school students, a “One hour Reading Marathon”. Several volunteer members of the community assembled together at the library and read stories to children. We wanted to find out how many stories we will be able to read in one hour, at the same time bringing literacy closer to children who in most cases don’t have a single book at home and whose parents can’t support them with literacy because they are illiterate themselves. We also knew it will be fun.

Today, while writing this, I started thinking how my own personal view of the world would be if I didn’t have the gift of reading. Just think all that you would miss if you wouldn’t be able to read these words.

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